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Here's Why U.S. Plan to Name Jerusalem as Israel's Capital Is Raising Tension

World  (tags: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, provocation, foreign policy, foreign relations )

- 583 days ago -
U.S. officials have confirmed that President Trump will recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. The U.S. will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a decision that breaks with decades of Washington policy.


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Darren Woolsey (218)
Sunday December 10, 2017, 10:33 am
Shared news article over social media to raise and spread awareness.

Sue H (7)
Sunday December 10, 2017, 10:35 am
The Vile one is certifiable and Unfit. :(

fly bird (26)
Sunday December 10, 2017, 1:50 pm
Trump’s Biggest Donor Pushed for Jerusalem Embassy Move.
December 4, 2017

Eli Clifton

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump may announce U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital while continuing to keep the U.S. embassy in in Tel Aviv. The move goes toward fulfilling his campaign promise, during a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

It’s still uncertain if Trump will go through with this plan, but the pressure on Trump goes deeper than a promise to voters. His biggest campaign contributor, billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is showing growing impatience with Trump’s slowness in moving the embassy, which would be a provocation to Palestinians who claim Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. For this reason, past presidents have refused to move the embassy on grounds that it would upset potential talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

Before Trump was even sworn in as president, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, showed a remarkable willingness to follow directions from Israel’s far-right prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The transition team appears to have worked at the request of Netanyahu to defeat a UN resolution criticizing Israel’s ongoing settlement construction. Reporting on Friday advanced the story, revealing that Kushner told former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to call members of the Security Council in an effort to stop the vote, a potential violation of the Logan Act, which criminalizes negotiations by unauthorized persons with foreign governments having a dispute with the U.S.

When the Trump White House hasn’t been quick enough to back Netanyahu or Adelson’s proposals, Adelson, who was reportedly in close contact with Kushner during the campaign, has been quick to express his displeasure.

Adelson, who once accused Palestinians of existing “to destroy Israel,” was reportedly “furious” with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in May for suggesting in a Meet The Press interview that moving the embassy should be contingent on the peace process. Axios reported:

[S]ources say the Las Vegas billionaire doesn’t buy the argument that the embassy move should be contingent on the peace process. He has told Trump that Palestinians are impossible negotiating partners and make demands that Israel can never meet.

Adelson and his wife Miriam spent more than $80 million on Republicans in 2016, and he gave $5 million to Trump’s inauguration.

Adelson and his wife Miriam also contributed $35 million to help elect Trump.

The Las Vegas Review Journal, which is owned by Adelson, wrote in October, “The Adelsons reportedly have been disappointed in Trump’s failure to keep a campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem on his first day in office.”

And before the funder got on the Trump bandwagon, candidate Trump was outspoken about Adelson’s intentions in putting his money behind candidates. He infamously taunted Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who in October 2015 was a frontrunner to secure Adelson’s backing, tweeting:

As we’ve documented on LobeLog, Trump dramatically changed his message on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular, saying that he would move the embassy to Jerusalem and wouldn’t call for a freeze on the construction of illegal settlements in the West Bank, as he closed in on the nomination and sought to secure Adelson’s support for his general election campaign.

Unconditional support for Israel is Adelson’s “central value,” according to Newt Gingrich in 2012, when Adelson was funding his presidential campaign’s Super PAC.

That statement is worth revisiting now as Trump weighs a policy announcement on Jerusalem where his most generous campaign supporter is pushing for a change in U.S. policy that threatens to undermine the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and seriously throw into question the viability of a two-state-solution.

fly bird (26)
Sunday December 10, 2017, 1:59 pm
Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration Is Even Worse Than You Think.
December 6, 2017

"Even for Donald Trump, few decisions have been as reckless, foolish, and heartless as this one. Even the hope for a response that minimizes bloodshed in the short term implies an even greater calamity down the road. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for activists, pundits, and governments all around the world. This decision seems to have been made. If so, it must be reversed."

. (0)
Sunday December 10, 2017, 2:28 pm
Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump all have stated that Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel, only Trump has moved to make it official. Foolish move or not, it will make for some dangerous and interesting times.

fly bird (26)
Sunday December 10, 2017, 2:31 pm
Israel’s Stall-Forever ‘Peace’ Plan.
September 23, 2017

Despite boosting the idea of Mideast peace, President Trump shields Israel in its resistance to a workable agreement with the Palestinians, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explained in a Sept. 19 speech.

By Paul R. Pillar

President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, whom the President has entrusted with, among many other things, searching for an Israeli-Palestinian peace, said regarding that task: “We don’t want a history lesson. How does that help us get peace? Let’s not focus on that. We’ve read enough books.”

He’s wrong. Without taking into account the history of this conflict, one will never understand it adequately, much less be able to identify formulas that will furnish the necessary respect for, and meet the minimum needs of, both sides.

One could go way back, but let us instead skip to the point in history when war-exhausted Britain, responsible for administering the mandate of Palestine, was facing increasing violence from the contending communities of, on one hand, Arabs who had lived in Palestine for centuries, and on the other hand, Zionists who had begun to settle there over the previous few decades.

Britain dumped the problem into the lap of the United Nations, where the General Assembly approved in 1947 a partition plan for Palestine that would create two new states, one controlled by Jews and one by Arabs. The resolution approving the plan is the one internationally certified birth certificate of the State of Israel.

The population of Palestine at the time was about two-thirds Arab and slightly less than one-third Jewish, with the bulk of the latter representing immigration in the 30 years since the Balfour Declaration. Jews owned less than 7 percent of the land. Under the partition plan, however, the Jewish state would receive 56 percent of Palestine and the Arab state 43 percent, with the remaining one percent being an international zone in Jerusalem. The population of the projected Arab state would be almost entirely Arab, while the Jewish-controlled state would be 45 percent Arab.

In the war that subsequently broke out, the superior skill and organization of the Zionist forces resulted in conquest of territory beyond the boundaries of the Jewish state in the UN partition plan, such that, at the time of the resulting armistice, the new State of Israel comprised 78 percent of Palestine, with Arabs left in control of 22 percent. Large population displacement occurred during the war. More than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs were expelled from, or fled from, their homes. Between 400 and 600 Palestinian villages were sacked, and Palestinian city life was virtually extinguished. This set of events is what Palestinians came to refer to as the Nakba or catastrophe.

A Single Story

This history is part of a single continuous story of issues that are discussed today as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the so-called peace process. One cannot excise that history. It is an inseparable part of attitudes, emotions, positions, and demands that exist today.

In the seven decades since those events of the late 1940s, Israel has grown into the state that is unquestionably the most militarily powerful in the entire Middle East, as well as being in many respects economically powerful. The next big accretion of territory under Israel’s control came from its conquests in the 1967 war, which Israel started with an attack on Egypt amid brinksmanship in the Gulf of Aqaba by Egyptian strongman Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Since that war, Israel has sustained a program of colonization of the conquered territories. Approximately 600,000 Jewish settlers now live outside Israel’s 1967 boundaries, in the West Bank and the eastern part of what Israel defines as Jerusalem.

Palestinian Arabs, in contrast, have remained sunken in a state of weakness and subjugation. For those in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, this status has included, among many other things, having nearly every aspect of life, from building of homes to daily movement to places of livelihood, subjected to the strictures of Israeli military occupation.

For those in the Gaza Strip, the subjugation has taken a different form, in which Israel has maintained control of air, sea, and, with varying degrees of Egyptian regime cooperation, land access to the Strip. With a suffocating blockade in effect much of the time, punctuated by the destruction of periodic military offensives, the Strip is one of the more miserable densely populated pieces of territory in the world.

Changes of Posture

The political and diplomatic positions of both sides have changed significantly over these seven decades. Whatever movement there has been in a direction that would appear to make resolution of the conflict more possible has come in response to some form of force or pressure. This has been true on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. A detailed accounting of such changes, and of the circumstances that have led to them, can be found in the excellent book by Nathan Thrall, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group, published this year under the title The Only Language They Understand.

On the Israeli side, for example, Israel’s limited territorial withdrawals from Syria and the Sinai following the 1973 war were in response to the shock of military setbacks and vulnerability that the war exposed, together with pressure from the United States, which had been stung by the Arab oil embargo. Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s acceptance at Camp David in 1978 of a framework for a projected, eventual negotiated resolution of the conflict was in response to pressure applied by Jimmy Carter and Anwar Sadat.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s agreement in 1991 to attend a peace conference in Madrid was in direct response to pressure from Secretary of State James Baker in the form of a threat to withhold $10 billion in loan guarantees for housing for Russian emigrants — which, by the way, was the last time the United States applied this sort of pressure on Israel.

The record refutes the idea that reassurance to Israel is what is most required to obtain Israel flexibility regarding the conflict with the Palestinians. But this idea persists because it is so politically comfortable here in the United States.

The same sort of dynamic has taken place on the Palestinian side. The positions and postures of the Palestinian mainstream have undergone a great evolution from a refusal to have any dealing with Israel and the waging of armed struggle against it, to explicit recognition of the State of Israel, commitment to a negotiated resolution of the conflict, commitment to two states living side-by-side in peace, and even an acceptance of pre-1967 Israeli military conquests and a reduction of territorial aspirations for a Palestinian state to the 22 percent of land that was left. The background to this evolution has been setback after setback to the Palestinians, including military defeats in Jordan and Lebanon, exile to Tunisia, and political weakness that is most apparent right here in the United States.

An Asymmetrical Conflict

While the two sides have exhibited similar histories regarding the relationship between pressure and flexibility, we are left with a huge asymmetry. There is an enormous difference in strength, obviously militarily but also economically and in terms of political leverage in the United States.

There has been a large difference in physical and human consequences. Far more Palestinians than Israelis have died in this conflict. Even going back to the Arab riots in Palestine in the 1930s, the ratio of Arabs to Jews killed was about ten-to-one. The discrepancy has been even greater in more recent conflict. During Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip in 2014, 2,100 Palestinians were killed, about two-thirds of whom were civilians. Israeli deaths from all causes totaled 72, all but six of whom were soldiers. The ratio in the last previous war in Gaza, in 2008-2009, was similar: 14 Israelis killed; over 1,400 Palestinians killed.

The asymmetry is also one between an occupier and the occupied. This seems to get overlooked in mentions of whether Palestinian leaders want a negotiated settlement. For the overwhelming majority of Palestinians, a negotiated two-state solution would be better than what they have now, and the overwhelming majority of Palestinians realize that it would be. They also realize that an agreement negotiated with Israel is the only way a two-state solution would ever be reached.

Conditions that Palestinian leaders have sometimes attached to negotiations should not be that hard to understand. A freeze on more construction of Israeli settlements is understandable because such construction obviously narrows the negotiating space for any peace agreement, and because nobody’s patience is unlimited for something called a peace process to be dragged out endlessly while more such facts on the ground continue to be established unilaterally, making a two-state solution ever harder to achieve.

Resistance to acceding to Israeli demands about calling Israel a “Jewish state” reflects how this demand was never made of Egypt or Jordan when they made peace treaties with Israel, how such descriptive demands are not part of normal recognition and diplomacy between states, how the PLO long ago explicitly recognized the State of Israel, how acceding to the Israeli demand would be an explicit Palestinian declaration that their Arab brethren within Israel are second-class citizens, and how such accession would be a step toward excusing Israel from accepting any responsibility, even symbolically, for the events of the late 1940s.

The asymmetry extends to how much there is left for either side to concede. Again, it is part of the basic difference between an occupier, who has the power to end an occupation, and the occupied, who does not. For the Palestinians, the story of this conflict, and of the diplomacy surrounding it, has been a tale of successive reductions in what they expect, and what they are expected to expect.

From being what was still the large majority of residents of Palestine even at the time of Israel’s creation, they have seen their prospective home go down to 43 percent of Palestine under the U.N. partition plan, to 22 percent after the warfare of the 1940s. And since the 1967 war, they have seen the 22 percent become not a floor but a ceiling in anything that is talked about as a future Palestinian state. The discourse is about a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of what had been their homeland.

Having been backed to a wall, there is very little room for still more backing up, at least in any way consistent with any Palestinian leader meeting the most basic nationalist aspirations and demand for respect for his people, failing which the leader himself forfeits respect and support.

On the Israeli side, one of the relevant pieces of background is the rightward trend in Israeli politics that has continued ever since Begin’s Likud displaced Labor as Israel’s dominant political party. Some members of Netanyahu’s government have been more direct than he has been in calling for things such as immediate annexation by Israel of most of the West Bank.

Israel and the Status Quo

Another relevant piece of background, consistent with the observation that the only significant movement in the position of either side has come when that side has been under pressure, is that the Israeli government simply does not feel sufficient motivation to end the occupation and reach an agreement with the Palestinians. From that government’s viewpoint, the status quo is tolerable, even comfortable.

Israeli has its overwhelming regional military superiority. It has its prosperity; it is among the richest one-fifth of the countries in the world in GDP per capita, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund. As suggested by the previously mentioned casualty figures, the immediate physical and human costs of the conflict itself are sustainable and below levels that would make them a significant political liability for leaders. The ugly aspects of occupation are walled off, literally, and beyond the line of sight of most Israelis, meaning that they do not represent any kind of political imperative to change the status quo.

Sure, there is international criticism, but that is something else that Israeli leaders have long experience living with, deflecting, and even turning to their domestic political advantage as protectors of the nation against what are described as unfair critics and even enemies of Israel.

Most important of all, there is the unquestioning backing of the United States, and the political lock that underlies it. That backing takes the form of $3.8 billion in annual subsidies with no strings attached, no compensatory demands being made about Israeli policy, and a diplomatic posture that makes it news when, as once occurred late in the Obama administration, the United States merely abstained on, rather than vetoing, as it repeatedly has done, a U.N. Security Council resolution expressing the critical view that the overwhelming majority of the international community has of Israel’s colonization project in the territories.

Weigh all this against what the Israeli government would face internally if it were to move to end the occupation and help to create a Palestinian state. This would immediately create a severe domestic political crisis within the dominant political right, featuring the resistance of a settler population that now constitutes about a tenth of Israel’s entire Jewish population. It is easy to see why the current government is not attracted to a change of its current course.

It has been observed, correctly, that of three major possible attributes of the current, and future, State of Israel — namely, being Jewish, being democratic, and being in control of all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River — Israel can be any two of those things, but it is impossible for it to be all three. It is impossible because of demographic facts about the peoples who live in that land.

Israeli leaders in power do not usually address that trilemma explicitly and publicly, but occasionally we get a more direct glimpse of the priorities. The Israeli minister of justice, Ayelet Shaked, has made clear she considers the democracy part to be subordinate to the Jewishness part. She has said that it was “not primarily Roman law or the democratic tradition of the Athenian polis that shaped and forged the modern democratic tradition in Europe or the United States, but Jewish tradition — joined, of course, by other traditions. It is precisely when we wish to promote advanced processes of democratization in Israel that we must deepen its Jewish identity.”

As for the role of civil and political rights in general, Shaked says, “Zionism should not – and I’m saying here that it will not – bow its head to a system of individual rights interpreted in a universal manner.”

Obsolete Transitional Arrangements

Meanwhile, on the Palestinian side, political dysfunction persists that is partly a legacy of failed peace process efforts of the past. The leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is the recognized interlocutor for peace negotiations, is Mahmoud Abbas, who gets more attention for his other role as head of the Palestinian Authority.

The P.A. was established under the Oslo process in the 1990s to be only a transitional mechanism. It was supposed to yield to something more permanent, like a real Palestinian state, in five or so years. The P.A. long ago passed its sell-by date. Many Palestinians now regard it, with good reason, as mostly an administrative auxiliary to the Israeli occupation. Stasis has set in. Abbas is now in the 13th year of what was supposed to have been a four-year term as P.A. president.

The P.A., and the Fatah-dominated PLO, also do not represent all of the Palestinian body politic. They do not represent refugees, and they do not represent the stream of opinion embodied in Hamas, which won the last free and fair Palestinian parliamentary election, has made clear it is prepared to live in peace in a Palestinian state side-by-side with the State of Israel, and has tried to observe the cease-fires negotiated after the last two Gaza wars.

Israel and the United States refused to accept that election result, and Israel has done everything it can to sustain division between Hamas and Abbas’s P.A., such as by withholding tax receipts owed to the Palestinians when the P.A. has made a move to resolve differences with Hamas. We can expect the same Israeli reaction to an initiative announced by Hamas this week, in which it says it will dissolve its own administration of Gaza in favor of a new joint administration with the P.A. and participation in fresh Palestinian elections.

Recent internal developments on the Israeli side, and specifically Netanyahu’s legal and political problems stemming from multiple corruption cases, only make matters worse regarding any peace process. The prime minister’s response has been to tie himself ever more closely to the right-wing coalition partners whose support he needs to stay in office. That means more of an inflexible hard line on anything having to do with the Palestinians. Netanyahu recently said to an audience of West Bank settlers, “We are here to stay forever. We will deepen our roots, build, strengthen and settle.”

Many informed observers believe that the two-state solution is dead. I don’t believe it is dead in the sense of technical feasibility. Despite how far the Israeli colonization of the West Bank has gone, it still would be possible to construct a peace agreement along lines that have been well known for quite some time, based on the 1967 borders with mutually agreed upon land swaps, and creative ways to deal with sticky issues such as right of return and control of holy places in Jerusalem.

But what the pessimistic observers accurately note, besides the ever-narrowing bargaining space from construction of additional facts on the ground, is how much of the edifice on which the so-called peace process is based has been regarded by one side as a basis for avoiding an ultimate peace agreement rather than building one. The Oslo formula that created the P.A. was based, on Israeli insistence, on the 1978 Camp David framework agreement, which in turn was based on an autonomy plan from Begin that was designed not to establish Palestinian self-determination but to prevent it.

This has been a matter of peace processing indefinitely while the side in control has created still more facts on the ground. Begin’s successor Yitzhak Shamir was quite candid about this when he said, ”I would have carried on autonomy talks for ten years, and meanwhile we would have reached half a million people in Judea and Samaria.”

Trump’s Posture

And now we have, in the country with the greatest potential outside leverage over all this, the Trump administration. Donald Trump said some things early in his campaign about being even-handed, but then he made his peace with (the intensely pro-Israeli billionaire) Sheldon Adelson, and from the time he spoke later during the campaign to AIPAC, most of what he has said and done on this issue would have easily passed muster in the Israeli prime minister’s office.

His son-in-law the envoy comes from a family with connections to West Bank settlements. Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer, whom he has appointed as ambassador to Israel, has direct personal involvement in aiding a West Bank settlement, has likened liberal, pro-peace American Jews to Nazi collaborators, and recently departed from a long-established U.S. diplomatic lexicon by referring to the “alleged occupation”.

Trump has backed away from the two-state solution, which had been the explicit U.S. objective of the previous couple of administrations, Republican and Democratic, and the implicit objective of the couple of administrations before that, Republican and Democratic. In an extraordinary statement, the State Department spokeswoman recently said that to recommit to the two-state solution would constitute “bias.”

As former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer commented in an op-ed, “her words indicate that the Trump administration itself is extremely biased — in favor of hardliners in … Netanyahu’s coalition who want the United States and Israel to abandon the two- state outcome.”

Those hardliners, and the Trump administration, have recently been looking to what is referred to as the “outside-in” concept — the idea the other Arab states will lean on the Palestinians to accept something less than a real state. But if the key to a peace settlement rested with those other Arab states, then Israel could pick up off the table what has been on the table for 15 years: the Arab League peace initiative, which offers full recognition of, and peace with, Israel by all Arab states and a formal declaration that the Arab-Israeli conflict is over, in return for an end to the occupation and establishment of a Palestinian state.

Genuine peace with the region still requires genuine peace with the Palestinians. Neither the Saudis nor other Arab leaders will sign off on bantustans for their Arab brethren in Palestine.

And so the prospect is for this long-running conflict to continue to run, with all of the substantial human, economic, political, and diplomatic costs that the conflict has entailed. Only a two-state solution can realize the national aspirations both of Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. Without it, Israel will continue not to have recognized borders, not be at peace with its region, and not be anything other than a heavily militarized state and in many ways a pariah state. It will, as Netanyahu has put it, “live forever by the sword.”

Without a two-state solution, Palestinians will continue to endure their all-too-well documented subjugation and suffering, and will exhibit the severe discontent that breeds extremism.

And without such a solution, the United States will continue to be associated with acceptance of this festering and undesirable situation, will be seen as condoning and supporting what the overwhelming majority of the world considers a gross injustice, and will continue to be the target of violent extremists who, again and again, cite this issue as one of their principal motivators and rallying cries.

(Pillar was speaking to the Worcester, Massachusetts, World Affairs Council.)

Colleen L (3)
Sunday December 10, 2017, 4:16 pm
You should know by nw,my thoughts about the evil tRum's crazy action. He's insane. Thanks Jess

Colleen L (3)
Sunday December 10, 2017, 4:18 pm
Sorry I meant to say Thanks Freya.

fly bird (26)
Monday December 11, 2017, 3:40 pm
4,290 supporters. let's get to 5,000.

Save Our Village from Israeli Bulldozers

As I write this letter, our village, Susiya, located in the South Hebron Hills of the occupied West Bank of Palestine, is under immediate threat of demolition. The only way to stop the demolition is through international pressure.


On 22 November 2017 the Israeli State Attorney’s Office announced that within 15 days they plan to demolish 20 buildings, which represent one-fifth of our village. This will violate the fundamental human rights of around 100 villagers, half of them children. The 20 buildings are our homes and also provide shelter for our animals. The timing of the demolition - in the middle of winter - could not be more devastating. It will leave us vulnerable and exposed to freezing rain and harsh winds. Our health clinic which provides health services for around 500 people from our own and surrounding communities, is among the buildings they plan to demolish. The Israeli authorities also want to demolish our village council which provides services for 350 local residents.

UPDATE: On 5 December 2017 the Israeli State Attorney’s office announced that the state plans to demolish approximately 40% of the structures in the village of Susiya. The state’s notification reveals that the number of buildings slated for demolition suddenly doubled, without prior warning and contrary to the state’s previous commitments. This means that, where previously 20% of the structures were facing imminent demolition, now 40% of structures in the village – including the only school of the village and solar panels which are the only source of electricity – are facing immediate demolition. The school and the solar panels were built with European funding.

In 2012 we commissioned a master plan for our village, which was rejected several times by the Israeli authorities. The rejection prevents us from building houses together with the necessary infrastructure such as running water, electricity and paved roads to create a sustainable life in our village. It leaves us no choice but to remain on our land living in tents, under very difficult conditions, forbidden from building or repairing anything, in order to protect our land from the threat of annexation by the surrounding settlements. In the Israeli government’s recent response it was agreed to examine the legal principle of the planning issue. Yet despite the potential to develop a master plan for the village, the government states that it will demolish the 20 buildings immediately. And as we know from past experience, if they come to demolish once, nothing will prevent them coming back and trying to demolish the rest of our village.

The plan to demolish Susiya is a part of an extensive campaign of demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Last year saw the largest number of demolitions in over a decade. This reality has nothing to do with democracy or the rule of law. Instead, the Israeli government has repeatedly violated its obligations to us as protected persons living under occupation. In accordance with international law, Israel has an obligation to provide for the needs of the local protected population, an obligation it openly shirks. Furthermore, it will be a war crime if the Israeli government forcefully displaces our village.

We therefore demand:

-No forced demolition of our village, Susiya
-The right to self-determination over the natural development of our village
-Acceptance of our master plan and thereby the planning and building of concrete houses and the necessary infrastructure

The Village Council of Susiya appeals to the international community to stand with us in all possible ways in the face of enforced expulsion by the Israeli state.

Nasser Nawajaa, Susiya Village Council spokesperson

With the support of voices of the international community


Grahame Morris MP, Chair, Labour Friends of Palestine & Middle East
Richard Burden MP, Labour Party
Caroline Lucas MP, Green Party
Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader, Green Party
Paul Maskey MP, Sinn Féin
Elisha McCallion MP, Sinn Féin
Mickey Brady MP, Sinn Féin
Chris Hazzard MP, Sinn Féin
Barry McElduff MP, Sinn Féin
Francie Molloy MP, Sinn Féin
Michelle Gildernew MP, Sinn Féin
Tommy Sheppard MP, Scottish National Party
Stewart Hosie MP, Scottish National Party
Philippa Whitford MP, Scottish National Party
Lord Norman Warner, Crossbench
Bob Doris MSP, Scottish National Party
Ben McPherson MSP, Scottish National Party
Ruth Maguire MSP, Scottish National Party
Sandra White MSP, Scottish National Party
James Dornan MSP, Scottish National Party
Clare Haughey MSP, Scottish National Party
Ivan McKee MSP, Scottish National Party
Bill Kidd MSP, Scottish National Party
Pauline McNeill MSP, Scottish Labour Party
Claudia Beamish MSP, Scottish Labour Party
John Finnie MSP, Scottish Green Party
Rona MacKay MSP, Scottish Green Party
Molly Scott Cato MEP, Green Party (UK)
Keith Taylor MEP, UK Green Party (UK)
Jude Kirton-Darling, MEP, Labour Party (UK)
Luisa Morgantini former MEP, Italy
Ivo Vajgl MEP, Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia


Len McCluskey, General Secretary, Unite the Union
Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer, GMB
Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT
Sally Hunt, General Secretary, UCU
Matt Wrack, General Secretary, FBU
Mick Whelan, General Secretary, ASLEF
Lindsey German, Convenor, Stop the War Coalition
Hugh Lanning, Chair, and Ben Jamal, Director, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Dr. Omer El Hamdoon, President of The Muslim Association of Britain
Rev Chris Rose, Director, Amos Trust
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine
Justice for Palestinians, Leamington Spa
Sara Apps, Director, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK
Friends of Sabeel
Kairos Britain


Adam Hanieh, SOAS
Laleh Khalili, SOAS
Rafeef Ziadah, SOAS
Bill Bowring, Birkbeck
Eyal Weizman, Goldsmiths
Ilan Pappé, Exeter
Judith Butler, Berkeley University of California
Mahmood Mamdani, Columbia University
Sara Ahmed, independent scholar and feminist writer
Aamer Anwar, Rector of Glasgow University and Human Rights Lawyer
Brian Eno, Musician, and campaigner
Ken Loach, Director
John Rees, Broadcaster, and writer


Addameer, Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
Agricultural Development Association
Arab Center for Agricultural Development
Alrowwad, Cultural and Arts Society
Arab Agronomists Association
Asala, Palestinian Businesswomen's Association
Bisan Center for Research and Development
Burj Al-luqluq, Social Center Society
Defense for Children International
Economic and Social Development Center of Palestine
Hawwa, Society for Culture and Arts
Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute
Health Work Committees Palestine
Legal Aid and Human Rights Center
Land Research Center
Ma’an Development Center
Mothers School Society
Najdeh Association
Popular Art Center
The Palestinian Farmers' Union
Palestinian Medical Relief Society
Palestinian Union of Health Care Committees
Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development
Rural Women’s Development Society
Society of St. Yves
Palestinian Youth Union
Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling

European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Robert Soeterik, Chair, Netherlands Palestine Committee
Jeff Halper, Co-Founder, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Finland
Diensten Onderzoek Centrum Palestina, Netherlands
ViaVelo Palestina, Belgium
Plateforme Watermael-Boitsfort Palestine, Belgium
Asian Peasant Coalition (representing 43 member organisations across 11 Asian countries)
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines)
Pagkakaisa para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Unity for Genuine Agrarian Reform), Philippines
Tanggol Magsasaka (Peasant Network for Land, Justice and Human Rights), Philippines
Resistance and Solidarity against Agrochemical TNCs (RESIST), Philippines
The Association of Norwegian NGOs for Palestine
Palestina Solidariteit
The Palestine Solidarity Association of Sweden
Belgian Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Netherlands Palestine Committee
BDS BerlinCheckpoint Singers, Brussels
Palestina Solidariteit vzw, Belgium
Stefano Casi, Vice President, Assopace Palestina, Italy

Peggy B (43)
Tuesday December 12, 2017, 5:22 am

fly bird (26)
Tuesday December 12, 2017, 10:04 am
More than 100 Jewish scholars condemn Trump's Jerusalem move.

Jewish scholars in North America have blasted a decision by Donald Trump to highly contentious move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

More than 100 Jewish scholars in North America issued a statement to President Donald Trump, slamming plans to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The clerics condemned the announcement by Trump on Wednesday that the US would recognise Israel's claims of Jerusalem as its capital, a decision which was met with surprise and universal condemnation.

"A declaration from the United States government that appears to endorse sole Jewish proprietorship over Jerusalem adds insult to ongoing injury and is practically guaranteed to fan the flames of violence," the statement signed by the scholars in the US and Canada said

"We therefore call on the US government to take immediate steps to deescalate the tensions resulting from the president's declaration and to clarify Palestinians' legitimate stake in the future of Jerusalem," Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

It also said the move looks to formalise Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and makes a peace deal between the two sides almost impossible to reach now.

"[The Jerusalem move] is outside of a negotiated political framework that ends the legal state of occupation and ensures respect for the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to Jerusalem," the scholars added.

The group noted that Palestinians "endure systematic inequalities" in occupied east Jerusalem and face continued discrimination from Israeli authorities.

Many of the scholars are known opponents of Republican President Donald Trump who attempted to appeal to Democrat-majority Jewish voters by promising to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Trump has been criticised for appealing to anti-Semetic groups and media during his election campaign.

His alliance with Breitbart head and the former chief strategist of the president Steve Bannon has been under the spotlight, who once allegedly called Jews "whiny brats".

Bannon is still a firm supporter of Israel and has spoken at right-wing Jewish group meetings in the US, calling on members to back Trump.

fly bird (26)
Tuesday December 12, 2017, 5:30 pm
The silent transfer of Palestinians from Jerusalem.

It is no accident that eight Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem wound up beyond the separation barrier. Since annexing Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has manipulated migratory trends toward an unstated goal: absorbing the land without the people.

fly bird (26)
Tuesday December 12, 2017, 10:09 pm
'Jerusalem has to be shared': Palestinian Christians decry Trump's decision.
11 December, 2017

Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital has left Palestinian Christians dismayed, with communities worried about their future in the city following the historic shift in US foreign policy.

Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital has left Palestinian Christians concerned about their future in the city following the historic shift in US foreign policy.

The future of Jerusalem - home to some of the holiest sites in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism - is one of the most critical final status issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump's announcement on Wednesday that the US embassy would be moved to the contested city effectively takes Jerusalem off the negotiating table in any future talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

Since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, Israeli policy in East Jerusalem has sought to engineer a Jewish majority through land expropriation, building restrictions on Palestinians, and settlement expansion.

Designated as permanent residents instead of national citizens, Palestinians in Jerusalem - around 40 percent of the population - face a precarious future.

But for the small yet vibrant Palestinian Christian community - estimated at 60,000 in the entire occupied Palestinian territories - political upheaval is an existential threat.

Evangelical base

The dramatic shift in US policy fulfilled a campaign promise which had largely been directed at Trump's Evangelical Christian base, which has been a powerful force in American politics since the 1980s and is staunchly pro-Israel.

Around 81 percent of Evangelicals voted for Trump in the 2016 election.

Vice-President Mike Pence's rise to the second most important position in US politics has given greater influence to the Christian religious right - or Christian Zionists, as they are also called - and he is thought to have played an active role in Trump's Jerusalem decision.

The vice-president stood behind Trump as he announced the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and has an upcoming visit to the region which the White House initially framed as a show of support for Christians in the Middle East.

They, however, have strongly rebuffed the trip, again showing the chasm in ideology and practice between the Western political Christian right and Arab Christians.

'The first church'

Egypt's Coptic Church head Pope Tawadros II - leader of the largest Christian community in the Arab world - said he would not meet Pence following Trump's Jerusalem decision, while Palestinian officials have pressured church leaders to follow suit.

Palestinians protested the move by turning off the lights of the Christmas tree outside Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity - the traditional birthplace of Jesus - while the city's mayor said there were no plans to welcome him if he did visit.

Yusef Daher, head of the Jerusalem Inter Church Center said the Palestinian Christian community was saddened by Trump's decision, especially the justification used by Christian Zionists who believe Jews must return to Israel in order to fulfil biblical prophecy.

"It's like reading a different Bible", Daher told The New Arab. "We have to remind Mike Pence and others that Palestinians were the first church and the first followers of Jesus Christ."

There is also ongoing concern that the decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital could further entrench the suppression of Palestinian religious and cultural identities, contributing to the flight of Christians from Palestine.

Over recent decades Christians have left Bethlehem and Jerusalem in their thousands.

"If Israel continues with its discriminatory policies in East Jerusalem it will limit the ability of Christians to remain viable," Daher said. "It will lead to more immigration out of city."

An inclusive Jerusalem

Ahead of Trump's announcement, the patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem issued a joint letter to the US president decrying his decision.

"Our solemn advice and plea is for the United States to continue recognising the present international status of Jerusalem," the letter read.

"As the Christian leaders of Jerusalem, we invite you to walk with us in hope as we build a just, inclusive peace for all the peoples of this unique and Holy City."

Nora Karmi, co-ordinator for Kairos Palestine, said that whether justified politically or religiously, the US administration's decision has left Palestinians angry.

"As a Palestinian I think it's the biggest mistake that any US president has done. I don't think he has read any international law - he doesn't know the history of this area," she told The New Arab.

"As a Christian, I cannot take certain verses of the bible literally to give rights to a people which are not the only one that has been in this country for so many years."

Until Trump's declaration, no other country had ever recognised Jerusalem as Israel's "eternal capital" since Israel's first premier Ben Gurion moved government offices to the city 68-years-ago.

Despite the system of segregation in the city between Palestinians and Israelis, Jerusalem's importance to three faiths means its future must be inclusive.

"Jerusalem has to be shared," Karmi said.

"We have said that for over 70 years but nobody wants to listen to us."

Evelyn B (63)
Wednesday December 13, 2017, 3:18 pm
Freya, I'd already used my quota of GS for you, but *************************************** ************************
And your choice of that cartoon is even more appropriate for this than it was for events when it first appeared!!! (Especially in view of some $ 40 million invested by Adelson in the GOP/Trump campaign & the Inauguration events!! Leaving a debt due to Adelson/Zionists that Trump has paid without grasping the implications of what he's done.)

Don - the others were careful to dance around the edge, to appease AIPAC & the Zionist (Jewish & Christian) Lobby - without actually taking the step that risks triggering ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem & the West Bank - by extreme action designed to drive the Palestinians out ... and bloody resistance by Palestinians who don't want to be forced out of the land they love so deeply.

Richard A (2)
Wednesday December 13, 2017, 8:30 pm
Thank you.

S J (124)
Thursday December 14, 2017, 2:16 am
Noted with thanks and hope for the better. Meows Freya

fly bird (26)
Thursday December 14, 2017, 9:01 am
Trump’s Jerusalem Gambit Will Speed the Colonization of Palestinian Lands.
December 7, 2017

But Palestinians will continue to seek ways to secure their rights to freedom and equality.

The United States has long been a contradictory player in Palestinian and Israeli affairs, attempting to broker “peace deals” on the one hand while providing Israel with billions of dollars in military aid and political backing on the other. Now Donald Trump has honed this double-edged US role to a devastating point with his calamitous decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital—even as he calls for a two-state solution “if agreed” by both sides.

As always, Trump has his own interests at heart. In one fell swoop, he has managed to placate his major donor Sheldon Adelson, who contributed nearly $40 million to Trump’s election and inauguration, and please both Israel and pro-Israel Christian evangelists, while kicking the can down the road for the next president to deal with. (White House aides say it will take at least three years for a new embassy to be built.) Most important of all for Trump, given his desire to make his mark, he can boast that he has delivered something other presidents have sidestepped for 20 years.

In shredding decades of established policy, Trump doesn’t seem to care a bit that his move jeopardizes his country’s interests in the region—or that it poses a direct threat to the Palestinians Nor do the basic precepts of international law seem to have crossed his mind. Not only is East Jerusalem considered occupied territory, but the international community does not recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Under the 1947 United Nations partition plan, which provided an international imprimatur for Israel’s creation, Jerusalem is a corpus separatum with an international status. The consensus was that this status should not be changed without agreement between the sides. As a result, no country in the world maintains an embassy in the city.

So where does this leave the Palestinians? Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has anchored his hopes to US mediation since he assumed power over a decade ago. But he immediately rejected Trump’s speech—Trump’s lip service to “peace” and promise to hold off on final-status issues were apparently cold comfort—and declared that the United States could no longer serve as mediator. But the reality is that Abbas has nurtured few diplomatic alternatives to the United States. When the global outrage quiets down, he may find himself increasingly isolated and weakened, sidelined by the machinations of the so-called Arab Quartet (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt) in tandem with Washington.

On the ground, Trump’s position will heavily reinforce Israel’s colonization drive. It will amplify calls from the right wing, including senior government officials in Israel such as Naftali Bennett, to annex Area C—an area accounting for some 60 percent of the West Bank where Israel retains full control over security and civil affairs—if not the entirety of the occupied territory.

First on the list is the E1 corridor, a strategically significant strip of land measuring approximately 12 square kilometers that is located between Jerusalem and the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. An ongoing push to annex the area has left 1,400 Palestinians facing eviction, including all 32 families from the village of Khan Al-Ahmar, which is under an order for immediate demolition.

E1 is “strategic” because it would secure Ma’ale Adumim’s contiguity with Israel by creating an urban Jewish block between Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem. This would bolster Israel’s grip on East Jerusalem by surrounding and dwarfing its Palestinian districts with Jewish neighborhoods. Significantly, it would all but cut the West Bank in half, making a contiguous Palestinian state impossible.

At the center of it all are the Palestinian Jerusalemites. Ever since Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem in 1967 and expanded its boundaries, its Muslim and Christian inhabitants have been gradually but forcibly transferred. In a bid to “Judaize” the land, Israel has enforced a series of discriminatory laws and policies designed to reduce the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem, whether through the destruction of Palestinian homes or the revocation of the residency of Jerusalem’s Palestinians. From 1967 to the end of 2016, Israel has revoked the residency of at least 14,595 Palestinian Jerusalemites.

Jerusalem has always been the economic and cultural center of life for many Palestinians, particularly in the West Bank. However, Israel’s drive to separate Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, through the construction of its unlawful wall and a ring of Jewish settlements, means most Palestinians can no longer enter Jerusalem to do business, study, visit, or receive medical care.

If Trump’s declaration has clarified one thing, it is that the United States is an antagonist and the road to a just peace lies elsewhere. That clarity may push European countries, however reluctantly, into a position of leadership in tackling the conflict, which will necessitate holding Israel accountable for its violations of international law. And it will only reinforce the determination of the Palestinian people to forge alternative paths to secure their rights to freedom, justice, and equality.

fly bird (26)
Thursday December 14, 2017, 9:19 am
Israel Lobby Billionaire Praises Jared Kushner For Collusion With Netanyahu.
10 December 2017

Special Report

By Ali Abunimah

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S son-in-law Jared Kushner received public praise on Dec. 3 from a billionaire Israel lobby financier for his possibly illegal attempts to derail a U.N. Security Council vote condemning Israel’s settlements a year ago.

This came as news broke that Kushner failed to disclose in government ethics filings his role as director of a family foundation that funded Israeli settlements.

Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump, is in charge of efforts to revive the so-called peace process.

New details of Kushner’s Saudi-backed plan reported Dec. 3 confirm that it would require nothing less than a complete capitulation by the Palestinians to Israel’s demands, leaving them with a state in name only.


On Sunday, Dec. 3, Kushner appeared at the Saban Forum, an Israel lobby conference at Washington’s Brookings Institution, financed by Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban.

Saban and Kushner sat on stage for what was billed as a “keynote conversation.”

“You’ve been in the news the last few days, to say the least. But you’ve been in the news about an issue that I personally want to thank you for, because you and your team were taking steps to try and get the United Nations Security Council to not go along with what ended up being an abstention by the U.S.,” Saban said in the exchange.

“As far as I know there was nothing illegal there, but I think that this crowd and myself want to thank you for making that effort.”

“Thank you,” Kushner responded.

Kushner refused to be drawn out on whether Trump would announce the following Wednesday that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that would underscore the absurdity of the U.S. posing as an honest broker.

Saban and Kushner were on opposite sides of the 2016 U.S. presidential election; Saban has donated millions of dollars to the Clintons, including Hillary Clinton’s failed presidental bid. He also made huge donations to support President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

But his coziness with Kushner can be explained by Saban’s own admission that his real political agenda is extremely narrow. “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel,” Saban told The New York Times in 2004.


Reports in several outlets, including Dec. 1 in BuzzFeed, have named Kushner as the “very senior member” of Trump’s transition team referred to in charging documents filed in federal court that day.

According to the documents, the senior figure ordered Trump adviser Michael Flynn to contact all the members of the U.N. Security Council to try to thwart the resolution either by delaying the vote or casting a veto.

Flynn, who served briefly as President Trump’s national security adviser, on Dec. 1 entered a guilty plea for lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador, including one on Dec. 22 last year about the U.N. resolution.

The guilty plea stemmed from the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia.

Multiple reports have suggested that Kushner may be a target of the investigation and that he may be suspected of violating the Logan Act, a rarely enforced 1799 law that prohibits private citizens from interfering in diplomatic negotiations to the detriment of the United States.

According to The New York Times, “Mueller’s investigators have learned through witnesses and documents that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of Israel asked the Trump transition team to lobby other countries to help Israel.”

Netanyahu is a long-time friend of the Kushner family, even sleeping in their New Jersey home, displacing the teenage Jared from his bedroom to the basement.

Flynn confirmed Dec. 1 that he is now cooperating with Mueller’s probe.


But even if Kushner is never charged under the Logan Act, the revelations about the transition team’s activities reshape the dominant narrative that Trump was colluding with Russia to advance Russian interests at American expense.

The picture that has emerged is of top Trump transition officials colluding with Israeli leaders to undermine the policy of the sitting Obama administration, for the benefit of Israel.

Yet mainstream media and pundits have continued to downplay or ignore the clear exercise of Israeli influence aimed at sabotaging U.S. policy.

The revelations about Flynn’s activities do “not prove that there was collusion with the Russian government,” journalist Max Blumenthal told “The Real News.”

“It certainly doesn’t demonstrate that Russia was attempting to subvert American democracy,” Blumenthal said. “It does demonstrate that the Israeli government, through its point man, Jared Kushner, was engaged in collusion, was engaged in foreign meddling and subversion.”

“This for some reason is not the story, and we know why,” Blumenthal added.

Despite the efforts of Kushner and Flynn, the U.N. resolution passed without opposition on Dec. 23, after the U.S. in a rare move declined to cast its veto.


It is common knowledge that top Trump officials Kushner and David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador in Tel Aviv, made sizable donations to support Israel’s West Bank settlements, all of which are illegal under international law.

But Newsweek revealed on Dec. 3 that Kushner failed to disclose in U.S. government ethics forms his role as a director of his family’s foundation from 2006-2015, a period in which it funded Israeli settlements.

“The failure to disclose his role in the foundation—at a time when he was being tasked with serving as the president’s Middle East peace envoy—follows a pattern of egregious omissions that would bar any other official from continuing to serve in the West Wing,” Newsweek reported, citing experts and government officials.

The Kushner foundation donated at least $58,000 for construction and other purposes in settlements between 2011 and 2013.

“Had Kushner included the role in his financial records, his involvement in such donations—and the following conflicts of interest that could possibly arise in his government position—may have been considered by the Office of Government Ethics,” according to Newsweek.


Given the systematic lack of accountability for senior U.S. officials, dating back decades, there is little reason to expect that anything short of an indictment will remove Kushner from his role.

And the more that is known about the “peace plan” he is helping forge, the clearer it is that Kushner and his colleagues are simply mouthpieces for Netanyahu.

On Dec. 3, The New York Times characterized the as yet unpublished plan in the following terms: “The Palestinians would get a state of their own but only noncontiguous parts of the West Bank and only limited sovereignty over their own territory. The vast majority of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which most of the world considers illegal, would remain. The Palestinians would not be given East Jerusalem as their capital and there would be no right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.”

These were the elements reportedly conveyed to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in November with an ultimatum that he accept them or resign.

These ideas are so far below what any Palestinian could ever accept that even Abbas was “alarmed and visibly upset” by the Saudi proposal, according to an official from his Fatah party cited by the Times.

The White House has denied that its plan has been finalized, and Saudi Arabia denied it supported such positions, according to the Times.

But the newspaper provides ample reason to doubt those denials, noting that: “the main points of the Saudi proposal as told to Mr. Abbas were confirmed by many people briefed on the discussions between Mr. Abbas and Prince Mohammad, including Mr. [Ahmad] Yousef, the senior Hamas leader; Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Parliament; several Western officials; a senior Fatah official; a Palestinian official in Lebanon; a senior Lebanese official; and a Lebanese politician, among others.”

The Saudis have been pressuring the Palestinians to capitulate to Israel evidently to clear the Palestinian cause out of the way so that the growing Saudi-Israeli alliance aimed at Iran can be brought fully into the open.

One element of the plan reportedly includes giving Palestinians a capital in the village of Abu Dis, instead of Jerusalem.

This is a revival of a 1990s fantasy in which the small village would be renamed “al-Quds” and declared the “capital of Palestine,” while the real city of Jerusalem is swallowed up by Israel.

Israel currently uses part of Abu Dis as an illegal garbage dump.

fly bird (26)
Thursday December 14, 2017, 1:53 pm
Video - Palestine Remix - The Lost Heritage of Palestine. 1:37 min

By destroying and eliminating all traces of Palestinian culture and traditions, Israel was able to claim ..

fly bird (26)
Thursday December 14, 2017, 2:05 pm
EU shuns call to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli capital.

Netanyahu said he expects "all or most of the European countries will move their embassies to Jerusalem" and "recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital".

But world leaders have roundly condemned US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Ed Site Issues V (198)
Friday December 15, 2017, 12:11 pm
Noted, Thanks

fly bird (26)
Friday December 15, 2017, 2:10 pm
From DC to Jerusalem: fighting displacement and colonization.
November 28, 2017

Earlier this month, the Washington DC Palestine solidarity community welcomed Jerusalem activist Fayrouz Sharqawi, Advocacy Coordinator at the organization Grassroots Jerusalem. Sharqawi was on a two-week speaking tour including stops in Boston, New York, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In DC, she held events with the Palestine Center, the Middle East Institute, and local advocacy group Organizing Neighborhood Equity ONE DC. The event with ONE DC put Sharqawi in conversation with Brookland Manor tenant leader Cheryl Brunson and community organizer Yasmina Mrabet. This momentous meeting of hearts and minds highlighted the parallel resistance of women fighting to protect their homes and communities in both occupied East Jerusalem and gentrified Washington DC.

Graphics displayed on the event page compared the numbers. One image showed the statistical decline of African American residents in DC: the once-majority Black city has lost nearly a third of its African American population over the past four decades, due to aggressive redevelopment and a corresponding influx of wealthier, predominantly-white new residents. A second graphic shows that over 200,000 Israeli settlers have moved into East Jerusalem since 1967, while tens of thousands of Palestinian locals have been stripped of their residency status or blocked from registering their children as residents.

Andrew Kadi, moderator for the event and an organizer with event sponsor DC for Palestine, explained why local Palestinian activists were so determined to connect Fayrouz Sharqawi with those confronting displacement here in Washington: “Anyone who thinks of Jerusalem–and what the U.S.-funded Israeli military and government are doing there – should also be conscious of policies that produce similar results here in DC,” he said over email. “Palestinians in Jerusalem, similar to long-time black and brown residents of DC, are struggling against racist policing, being stripped of housing, underfunded services, and mass incarceration, all of which results in displacement….We could stop funding Israel’s actions in Jerusalem and use that money to address some of these issues locally.”

Engineered population transfer

One of the first themes to emerge during the event was the similarity in city planning processes that engineer the displacement of unwanted populations. Sharqawi cited the Israeli government’s “Jerusalem 2020” master plan, which explicitly advocates for “demographic balance” between Jewish Israeli and non-Jewish Palestinian populations. In order to achieve this parity, Sharqawi explained, the Palestinian population would need to be forcibly reduced from 40 percent to 30 percent over the next three years.

The Israeli government promotes this outcome through a variety of policies. A practice similar to eminent domain is frequently used to evict Palestinian residents of Jerusalem from land where the Israeli government plans parks or museums. When Palestinian families apply for permits to build on their own land, or simply make additions or improvements to an existing home, 94 percent of the applications are met with rejection. Those who build without permission risk home demolition. They are charged for the cost of the demolition and often plunged into simultaneous homelessness and bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, here in DC, developers reassured city officials that “natural attrition” would leave 100 Brookland Manor units vacant prior to their proposed redevelopment scheme. It’s a mystery where they came up with this figure, considering that the population of the subsidized apartment complex has held steady for 50 years. One might argue that the complex is actually consistently over-capacity, as many current residents are on waits lists to obtain larger units.

ONE DC community organizer Yasmina Mrabet explained that this predicted “attrition” is anything but natural: the developer, MidCity Financial, is running an calculated campaign to get rid of long-time residents. With the current tenants gone, they plan to reduce all the unit sizes–eliminating the larger apartments in favor of an increased number of one- and two-bedroom units. By increasing the total number of units, the developer can superficially market the project as an incredible affordable housing initiative when in fact they are dramatically decreasing the total low-income population on the property in order to free up space for more than 100 luxury units.

The result is not just displacement but also the callous separation of families and the deliberate destruction of a longtime community. Tenant leader Cheryl Brunson, a Brookland Manor resident of over 25 years, described the welcoming and kid-friendly culture of the complex and the neighborhood. The large garden apartments include units with four, five and even six bedrooms, accommodating extended families that thrive off living together. The property has a pool and a playground. Brunson shared stories of community members watching each other’s children, raising their grandkids, and sharing food and clothing with neighbors who have less.

Since tenants started organizing, the developer’s tactics have become more and more aggressive. Today, the pool and the playground are fenced off and unused. Private security officers from a company contracted by the developer give residents infractions for sitting outside, playing ball, or simply leaning on the fence while waiting for a ride. The same minor “offenses” can get non-resident friends and family members placed on a list of people banned from the property, and then residents receive additional infractions for “illegally” hosting them. Accumulated infractions are used as a pretense to ruthlessly evict families.

Mrabet recounted that, when pressed to explain the economic reasons why MidCity Financial can’t simply replace all 535 units at their current size in order to retain all current residents, one developer gave the overtly racist and classist answer that, “it’s not just a question of economics, but a question of sociology.” Mrabet translated for the audience, “They don’t want the people who are already there, they don’t want to keep a working class black community–they want to bring in a wealthier, whiter clientele.” When tenants turned to their elected City Council member Kenyan McDuffie for help, he instead echoed the developer’s racist rhetoric, commenting that he does not support a one-for-one unit replacement “because people need to learn self-sufficiency.” Like in Israel, DC government rhetoric constantly blames poverty and unemployment on the oppressed instead of on those in power.

Violent policing practices

The matrix of spatial control and intimidation in both Jerusalem and DC is inseparable from what Kadi referred to as “criminalization of the body.” All three speakers described aggressive policing practices designed to break bodies and minds by traumatizing and provoking residents.

When Cheryl Brunson talked about young people being constantly harassed by both the police and private security for simply playing ball outside, Fayrouz Sharqawi commented that the Israeli police similarly beat up or detain young Palestinians for eating seeds or smoking in public. Likewise, Brunson’s tales of police arbitrarily applying sidewalk ordinances (such as by telling organizers they can’t speak with tenants outside the building) and aggressively detaining young men closely paralleled Sharqawi’s descriptions of Israeli police holding young people for hours at the station “without even trying to give a legal excuse.”

This kind of policing is as much a form of psychological warfare as it is physical violence, pointed out both Mrabet and Sharqawi. In DC, the police and the developers work hand in glove to demoralize people. For example, one day Brunson’s grandson was traumatically chased by the police in a case of mistaken identity. Not long afterwards MidCity falsely accused her of owing $5000 in unpaid rent and dragged her through a long process of proving her case. Another resident had the tragic experience of her son committing suicide in her apartment, and police came to the scene to investigate the scene. The next day she was issued an eviction notice by MidCity for having a gun on the property: the gun her son brought into her apartment to kill himself.

Like in Jerusalem, the compounding stress of the environment takes its toll on every aspect of the community; with so many battles to fight at every turn, people are more likely to give up or turn on each other. Mrabet described MidCity’s efforts to confuse people and pit them against each other: the developer will send out mailings to all the residents warning them not to get tricked by outside organizations (referring to ONE DC) and inviting them to meetings on the design of the future building. In this way, they purposefully cultivate the narrative that “good” residents will get a unit in the new building while the “bad” residents will not. Mrabet recounted the arduous work of getting skeptical and paranoid tenants involved in the fight for fair redevelopment.

Despite the parallel social stigmas, policing, and bureaucratic violence faced by Palestinians and DC residents, Sharqawi noted that there are some significant differences when it comes to available organizing and advocacy tactics. East Jerusalem Palestinians are cut off from the West Bank and the Palestinian Authority government by the apartheid wall, but they are not Israeli citizens either. Thus they have no political representation. What they do have is a uniquely precarious residential status within the Israeli legal framework, purposefully crafted so that the Israeli government can easily revoke residency rights. In this case Palestinians are not just physically displaced from their homes, but also permanently barred from residing in East Jerusalem.

Mrabet described how their campaign brought unprecedented numbers of supporters to city zoning commission meetings. Sharqawi pointed out that, unlike Brookland Manor residents, Jerusalem Palestinians cannot take their case to City Council, or pack the house of a zoning meeting, or go after their council member. The total lack of political representation plus their stateless status means that Palestinians don’t have these civic avenues to strategically utilize. As a result, international solidarity is all the more urgent.

Grassroots solutions, international solidarity

As community organizations, both Grassroots Jerusalem and ONE DC are dedicated to asking people “what can I do for you?” They seek to empower and unite people as much as they work to redress the immediate symptoms of state and corporate violence. Both Sharqawi and Mrabet were clear to distinguish between NGO charity and true community organizing. Sharqawi described how Jerusalem residents get stuck relying on the emergency aid of the United Nations and NGOs because they have few political and legal avenues of their own in which to fight for permanent solutions. She pointed out the universal irony in the fact that the same neoliberal, corporatist system that drives displacement then puts up funding for the mainstream NGOs that claim to provide solutions.

Grassroots Jerusalem is thus seeking to “organize and coordinate all the efforts happening on the ground.” Sharqawi explained that some people think they can’t do anything about the political reality, but in fact “the people do have the power to battle these policies.” As an example during the presentation, she described the grassroots response to the new metal detectors and checkpoints installed at al-Aqsa mosque. Spontaneous civil disobedience brought out thousands of protestors who prayed together in the streets until Israel eventually backed off and removed the new checkpoints.

In order to build a sense of agency in place, one specific project Grassroots Jerusalem has focused on is mapping: residents old and young are invited to draw maps of their neighborhood, taking note of shops, trees, and other landmarks. Interns trained in GIS mapping translate the drawings into formal maps and post them to the organization’s website. This project captures essential documentation of Palestinian space while simultaneously giving people an opportunity to build community. Sharqawi said the overarching goal is to get people to envision their own Jerusalem future: what do they want to see ten years from now?

Sharqawi’s emphasis on “finding resources from the community, for the community” resonated with ONE DC’s own philosophy. As Mrabet explained, the organization focuses not just on housing but also on building grassroots power through labor. This led ONE DC to found the Black Workers Center, a worker-led space dedicated to promoting worker coops, time-banking, and workplace organizing skills. With a nod to the recent 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, Mrabet referenced the socialist vision of workers regaining power through democratic ownership of the means of production.

The event closed with speakers’ comments on how to support their movements. Sharqawi appealed to international solidarity: because Palestinians live under Israeli occupation, it is urgent that international pressure operates in tandem with their own organizing on the ground. She encouraged the audience to get involved with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, founded in 2005 by Palestinian civil society. Likewise, Mrabet called on supporters from around the world to link struggles by joining ONE DC as a member.

Barb SiteIssues V (202)
Friday December 15, 2017, 3:13 pm
Noted, Thank you

fly bird (26)
Saturday December 16, 2017, 4:45 pm
70 Years Later, Israel Continues to Ignore What It Doesn’t Like in Partition Resolution.
10 December 2017

United Nations Report

By Ian Williams

IT IS NOW 70 years since the U.N. General Assembly voted for Resolution 181 to partition Palestine between an Arab and a Jewish state. When pro-Israel commentators demand to know why the U.N. is “obsessed” with Israel and the Middle East question, this is why. The partition of Mandatory Palestine and dispossession of its people are the original sins of the world organization when it collectively overrode the very principles it had just written into its charter.

The Arab side understandably boycotted the U.N.’s Special Committee on Palestine. After all, they were being invited to help map out the cuts for their own vivisection and did not agree with the process, since it did flout most of the principles for which the post-War U.N. was supposed to stand. However, firm principles are not always conducive to sound policy, and the Palestinian absence allowed the Zionist side to shape the agenda and the details for the committee members—who, minutes show, were already predisposed to see the Jewish refugees and settlers in a very sympathetic light.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz recently discovered the papers of Paul Mohn, Sweden’s deputy representative to the commission. David Horowitz, the Jewish Agency emissary to the U.N., wrote at the time that Mohn is the person “who more than anyone else established the boundaries of the future Hebrew state.”

It has always been a mystery why delegates thought it was acceptable to draw boundaries in complete disregard to the wishes, and in some cases even the existence, of the actual population living there. Mohn seems to have been the actual drafter of the gerrymandered boundaries, and his papers explain his partiality to Zionist demands, based on family revulsion against anti-Semitism going back to the Dreyfus case and exacerbated as it obviously was for committee members by the recent Nazi genocide.

Mohn’s papers seem to indicate that it was only at the end of its mission, when it had been persuaded to recommend partition, that the committee realized that it was supposed to map the actual boundaries, which Mohn undertook almost singlehandedly.

But that does not explain their insouciance toward the very existence, let alone the rights, of the Bedouin, who were the majority inhabitants of the Negev—which the committee handed over to the Jewish state despite a complete absence of Jews there!—let alone to the sensibilities of the Palestinians gerrymandered into a 45 percent minority in cantons with 55 percent Jews. Looking at their comments at the time it is chillingly clear that the committee members did not idealistically expect the Arabs and Jews to live happily ever after in binational harmony. Not at all. The Palestinians were supposed to take the hint and move out, as of course many of them did, when the hint was reinforced with bayonets and news of the massacre at Deir Yassin.

For extra resonance, we should also remember that it was Mohn’s maps and recommendations to make Jerusalem a corpus separatum under U.N. trusteeship that results in Israel’s claimed capital to be a diplomatic desert devoid of embassies. You will not be surprised that this and other inconvenient sections of 181 were overlooked when Vice President Mike Pence joined the bumptious Israeli ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, in celebrating the 70th anniversary.

Those celebrations notwithstanding, Israeli celebration of Resolution 181 tends to be ambivalent. Back in 1947, its passage was greeted with enthusiasm as the foundation of the Jewish state, but since then, there is that Jerusalem thing. How do you celebrate a resolution that explicitly bars you from control of your “eternal capital”? That was compounded a year later when Resolution 194, passed almost simultaneously with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, enshrined the right of return or compensation to the dispossessed Palestinians.

Israel’s response, which could be discounted, and that of its American patron, which is harder to sideline, has been to diminish the legitimacy of the U.N. General Assembly, particularly since Washington lost its guaranteed majority in the 1960s with the influx of newly independent nations. It is now firmly asserted that Assembly resolutions are not legally binding.

Inadvertently expressing his country’s ambivalence, Ambassador Danon on the one hand denounces the U.N. as totally biased against Israel, while on the other trumpeting every minor voting success it has. In 2016, he wrote to the secretary-general asking for kosher food in U.N. catering to “ensure that the parliament of nations be open and respectful to the traditions of the Jewish people.” Fair enough—if he could ensure that Israeli politicians paid heed to the parliament of nations! It is not as if Israel has been particularly good at following Security Council resolutions, let alone those of the General Assembly!


With so many important members of the U.N. in effect deciding that they do not have a dog in the fight on issues of principle, like the Palestinian question, it is heartening to see the work of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Jordan’s Hashemite dynasty has not always been closely associated with human rights, nor even those of Palestinians, but those of us who saw Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein at work, for example on the Balkans, are not so surprised by the effective and independent work he is now doing as High Commissioner of Human Rights, in the face of relentless pressure from the Saudis, who have reportedly called Amman to ask King Abdullah to rein in his brother, and of course from the West and Israel.

Currently he is holding steady on the completion of a database of companies operating in Israel’s West Bank settlements. The U.N. Human Rights Council ordered its compilation in March of 2016, mandating the OHCHR to “investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on Palestinians.” Hundreds of companies have been approached, and neither they nor their Israeli hosts are happy.

Israel and its friends failed to stop the database research, but as the irrepressible Danon put it to The Associated Press, “We will do everything we can to ensure that this list does not see the light of day.” Washington’s permanent representative, Nikki Haley, in her avatar as joint representative for AIPAC and Danon, can be relied upon to bring the White House into the fray, but so far it is going ahead.

If or when published, it will be an authoritative guide for BDS supporters worldwide to fine tune their decisions. It also presents an interesting dilemma for the U.S., whose diplomats are frequently at the fore in denouncing human rights violations—often deservedly so. Its ultimate weapon would be to walk out of the Human Rights Council—but the U.S. has been voted off in the past, and the Council survived long enough for Washington to use some unseemly pressure to get back on again! If it did walk out, Israel would be left with “supporters” who abstain when their arms are twisted by the U.S. and who thus could not be guaranteed to hold the line in Washington’s absence.

Even though it’s been a long time since anyone expected consistency or logic from any U.S. administration, what type of international profile will it present if it tries to stop publication of information on which companies are operating in territory which the State Department considers occupied, and in settlements which the Security Council and the International Court of Justice have deemed illegal?

To bring us back to the beginning, Vice President Pence, attending (of course) the Israeli mission’s celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Resolution 181, was explaining why in June President Donald Trump, like all his predecessors, signed a waiver to legislation mandating the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. It was, of course, because of 181’s clauses on Jerusalem!

Janet B (0)
Sunday December 17, 2017, 7:38 pm

Patrice Z (16)
Monday December 18, 2017, 3:33 am
"Recognition of reality"? Really? This administration?

fly bird (26)
Monday December 18, 2017, 2:47 pm
Golda Meir carried a Palestinian passport for ... about 27 years!!!

Despite this fact, she denounced Palestine, Palestinians - pretended to the world they did not exist, that the land was 'empty', knowing otherwise - supported Zionism, furthering Jewish expansionism/colonialism of Palestinian lands and territories, and endorsed/promoted racist attitudes of Jewish entitlement, not just to Jews, but to the world.

A perspective - when one does not swallow the bait, line sinker and hook!!

fly bird (26)
Monday December 18, 2017, 3:01 pm
Joseph Weitz, head of the Jewish Agency's Colonization Department.

From Israel: an Apartheid State by Uri Davis, p.5:

"Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours... Everything we don't grab will go to them."

Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine, "Complete Diaries," June 12, 1895 entry.:

"Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly."

David Ben Gurion, quoted in The Jewish Paradox, by Nahum Goldmann, Weidenfeld and Nicolson,
1978, p. 99:

"Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population."

Michael Ben-Yair, Attorney General of Israel, 1993-1996 (in Ha'aretz):

"The Intifada is the Palestinian's people's war of national liberation. We [Israel] enthusiastically chose to become a colonialist society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the Occupied Territories, engaging in theft and funding justification for all these activities.. we [Israel] established an apartheid regime."

Some of the recorded statements are too odious and offensive to post. Shame!
The hope, if there is still any, lies in new leaders, righteous people, and rabbis, that do and will stand up to Israel's illegal actions and heinous racist persecutions of Palestinians, lying, while taking, by force, farms, ancestral homes, residences, natural resources that belong to Palestinians, not Israel.

The phony victim game must be stopped.

Free Palestine! Save Gaza!

fly bird (26)
Tuesday December 19, 2017, 4:58 pm
In 1923, radical Zionist Ze'ev Jabotinsky-- spiritual father of not only of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin but of Brooklyn Rabbi Meir Kahane-- wrote:

the "sole way" for Jews to deal with Arabs in Palestine was through "total avoidance of all attempts to arrive at a settlement"-which Jabotinsky euphemistically termed the "iron wall" approach. Not coincidentally, a picture of Jabotinsky graces Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's desk. Source: The Village Voice, "Death Wish in the Holy Land," Dec. 12, 2001.

The influential Israeli Rabbi Ovadia Yosef exclaimed during a sermon preceding the 2001 Passover holiday, :

"May the Holy Name visit retribution on the Arab heads, and cause their seed to be lost, and annihilate them." He added: "It is forbidden to have pity on them. We must give them missiles with relish, annihilate them. Evil ones, damnable ones." -- Source: Ha'aretz April 12, 2001.

Moshe Dayan, address to the Technion, Haifa, reported in Haaretz, April 4, 1969:

"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, ‘What is to be done with the Palestinian population?’ Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!'"

David Ben Gurion, quoted in The Jewish Paradox, by Nahum Goldmann, Weidenfeld and Nicolson,
1978, p. 99:

"Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population."

Menahim Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, 'Begin and the "Beasts"', New Statesman, 25 June 1982:

"We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinian refugees] never do return."

Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979. Rabin's description of the conquest of Lydda, after the completion of Plan Dalet:

"We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters."

David Goldman wrote:

"We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel... Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours."

Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir's infamous quote:

"There is no such thing as a Palestinian."

fly bird (26)
Tuesday December 19, 2017, 5:21 pm
Golda Meir ,actually admitted that Palestine existed and even that she had been Palestinian, had owned a Palestinian passport from 1921-1948!

Postcard from Golda MEIR RECOGNIZING Palestine, STAMPED IN 1930.


fly bird (26)
Tuesday December 19, 2017, 5:29 pm
In 1923, radical Zionist Ze'ev Jabotinsky-- spiritual father of not only of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin but of Brooklyn Rabbi Meir Kahane-- wrote:

the "sole way" for Jews to deal with Arabs in Palestine was through "total avoidance of all attempts to arrive at a settlement"-which Jabotinsky euphemistically termed the "iron wall" approach. Not coincidentally, a picture of Jabotinsky graces Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's desk. Source: The Village Voice, "Death Wish in the Holy Land," Dec. 12, 2001.

The influential Israeli Rabbi Ovadia Yosef exclaimed during a sermon preceding the 2001 Passover holiday, :

"May the Holy Name visit retribution on the Arab heads, and cause their seed to be lost, and annihilate them." He added: "It is forbidden to have pity on them. We must give them missiles with relish, annihilate them. Evil ones, damnable ones." -- Source: Ha'aretz April 12, 2001.

Moshe Dayan, address to the Technion, Haifa, reported in Haaretz, April 4, 1969:

"We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, ‘What is to be done with the Palestinian population?’ Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!'"

David Ben Gurion, quoted in The Jewish Paradox, by Nahum Goldmann, Weidenfeld and Nicolson,
1978, p. 99:

"Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population."

Menahim Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, 'Begin and the "Beasts"', New Statesman, 25 June 1982:

"We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinian refugees] never do return."

Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979. Rabin's description of the conquest of Lydda, after the completion of Plan Dalet:

"We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters."

David Goldman wrote:

"We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel... Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours."

Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir's infamous quote:

"There is no such thing as a Palestinian."

Evelyn B (63)
Thursday December 21, 2017, 4:45 am
A very revealing set of quotes, Jess!
Keep them handy for when an uninformed Zionism supporter drops in to tell us that "there has never been a place called "Palestine", Palestinians do not exist, they are only Arabs who became interested in this land when the Jews cam & made it fertile ... etc. etc. The hasbara narrative (which Golda herself did so much to promote - although she knew better, after all, as she said in one interview, she had a Palestinian passport for many years!!!)

There's good reason for the international position on Jerusalem: holy to the three major monotheistic religions, it should be kept above and outside any claim by one single religion - e.g. a self-defined "Jewish State".

And 176 countries realise this, as shown by yesterday's vote in the UN General Assembly - despite the bullying techniques employed by the US ("I'll be taking note of everyone who votes", a threatening statement by Haley, on behalf of Trump.)

fly bird (26)
Thursday December 21, 2017, 2:35 pm
TAKE ACTION - Lone posted:

Free Ahed Tamimi.

fly bird (26)
Thursday December 21, 2017, 2:55 pm
Haley comments and response, as I heard, too, Evelyn, were threatening and bullying, like you said.

And THIS is diplomacy? Bullying and coercion tacics...

fly bird (26)
Thursday December 21, 2017, 8:45 pm
128 countries vote in favor of UN call for US to withdraw Jerusalem decision.
22 Dec, 2017

The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution calling on the US to reverse its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. One hundred and twenty eight countries backed the motion.

Nine states voted against the UN resolution and 35 nations abstained. The voting took place during a rare UN General Assembly (UNGA) emergency session, convened Thursday at the request of Arab and Muslim nations.

The outcome of the UNGA vote was hailed as a "victory" by Palestine. “We will continue our efforts in the United Nations and at all international forums to put an end to this occupation and to establish our Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudainah said.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister praised the decision after the vote, saying, it “once again showed that dignity and sovereignty are not for sale.”

The voting was preceded by a number of member states outlining their stance on the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Turkey, which has led Muslim opposition to Washington's Jerusalem declaration, was among the first to speak at the meeting. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu underlined that only a two-state solution and sticking to the 1967 borders can be a foundation for a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. The minister said that since Jerusalem is the cradle for the “three monotheistic religions,” all of humanity should come together to preserve the status quo.


“The recent decision of a UN member state to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel violates the international law, including all relevant UN resolutions. This decision is an outrageous assault on all universal values,” Cavusoglu said.

US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, said whatever decision the UNGA takes will not influence Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. She reminded UN member states of the US’ generous contributions to the organization and said that the United States expects its will to be respected in return.

“When we make a generous contributions to the UN, we also have a legitimate expectation that our goodwill is recognized and respected,” Haley said, adding, the vote will be “remembered” by the US and “make a difference on how the Americans look at the UN.”

Israeli envoy to the UN Danny Danon stated that Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, dating back to Biblical times, and the US decision only outlines the obvious. Danon went further and accused the UN of “double standards” and an “unbreakable bond of hypocrisy” with Palestine and prejudice against Israel.

“Those who support today’s resolution are like puppets. You’re puppets pulled by the strings of your Palestinian puppet masters. You’re like marionettes forced to dance, while the Palestinian leadership looks on with glee,” Danon told the gathering.

The US leadership earlier issued threats to UN member states which would back the UN resolution against its Jerusalem decision. Haley said Washington would be “taking names.”

Trump also suggested that countries which vote in favor of the resolution at the UN General Assembly will lose money. “Let them vote against us,” he said. “We’ll save a lot. We don’t care. But this isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars... We’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”

The US threats were condemned by Turkey, with the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stating that Trump “cannot buy Turkey's democratic will.”

“I hope and expect the United States won't get the result it expects from there (the UN General Assembly) and the world will give a very good lesson to the United States,” Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara Thursday ahead of the meeting.

On Monday, the US vetoed a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution on Jerusalem, which had demanded that the American decision to recognize the city as the Israeli capital be withdrawn. All other UNSC members voted in favor of the motion.

Marija M (25)
Friday December 22, 2017, 2:16 pm
Thanks Freya.

fly bird (26)
Friday January 5, 2018, 4:07 pm
A foreign leader — Netanyahu — set Trump’s agenda in Middle East, Michael Wolff book says.
January 4, 2018

With everyone talking about the Russia story again, fed by Michael Wolff’s bombshell new book on the Trump White House, it must be pointed out that the book documents that a foreign leader not Vladimir Putin pushed one of the Trump administration’s most grievous foreign policy moves, the decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as the supposed capital of the Jewish people. Benjamin Netanyahu influenced that decision, and so did Trump mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. And they are also pushing Trump to end U.S. policy of opposing the Israeli occupation.

In his new book, Fire and Fury, excerpted in New York Magazine, Wolff reports on a meeting between Trump adviser Steve Bannon and the late Fox News boss Roger Ailes at a dinner party in Greenwich Village a year ago, during the transition after the 2016 election.

Bannon plunged on with the Trump agenda. “Day one we’re moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s all-in. Sheldon” — Adelson, the casino billionaire and far-right Israel defender — “is all-in. We know where we’re heading on this … Let Jordan take the West Bank, let Egypt take Gaza. Let them deal with it. Or sink trying.”

“Where’s Donald on this?” asked Ailes, the clear implication being that Bannon was far out ahead of his benefactor.

“He’s totally onboard.”

“I wouldn’t give Donald too much to think about,” said an amused Ailes.

Let’s be clear that this is a major change in U.S. policy they were talking about (and that Ailes raised an eyebrow about). This week brings new reports that the U.S. is not going to call the occupation an occupation– well, here are the fingerprints. Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly interfered in U.S. matters of state, without an outcry. Sheldon Adelson– who is very close to Netanyahu and a major player in Israeli politics– has been personally pushing the unification of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty since Camp David threatened to divide Jerusalem, in 2000, and using his wealth to do so. George W. Bush reportedly put Adelson off his agenda at that time by saying that he supported Israel but he couldn’t be more Catholic than the pope.

The vision of the Middle East here is the neoconservative one supported by Israeli rightwingers: Let Jordan absorb Palestinian population areas in the West Bank, or encourage Palestinians to leave Palestine; let Palestinians vote in Jordan.

Adelson’s influence reflects the fact that according to the Wolff book, he was willing to put more money on the possibility of a Trump presidency than Trump himself. Trump, a shrewd businessman, did not believe that he was going to win, and was reluctant to loan the campaign even $10 million, Wolff says. But Adelson is a fervent ideologue, far wealthier than Trump; and he and his wife spent upwards of $25 million on the Trump campaign and inauguration. So no wonder the embassy decision was announced…

No one gives Adelson credit for this influence because such reports would feed the idea that a rightwing militaristic Israel lobby is influencing U.S. policy in the Middle East, a supposed anti-Semitic canard. But that just happens to be true.

Consider Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s nutty full-page ad in The Washington Post, attacking the New Zealand singer Lorde as an alleged anti-Semite for choosing not to play Israel. However loony this ad is, it feeds the malignant characterizations of the boycott Israel movement; and who is behind Shmuley Boteach? Why– Sheldon Adelson. Though again, no one reports this. Here’s a shot of the Adelson Family Foundation’s federal tax reporting from 2016. Over $1 million to Rabbi Shmuley.

Boteach praised Adelson’s wealth to his face at Yeshiva University four years ago:

Boteach: There has not been a Jewish philanthropist who bestrides the Jewish world as a colossus the way you do since the Rothschild family or maybe Moses Montefiore… there hasn’t been someone who has so dominated the field, becoming one of the top ten or so richest men in the world. Thank God. May you continue to prosper.

Adelson: It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

By the way, the Wolff book also speaks of cultural tensions in the White House involving Jews. Henry Kissinger saw a “war” between Jews and non-Jews in the White House. As the Forward notes:

Another big theme of the book is the bad blood between Bannon and the president’s family members, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

“It is a war between the Jews and the non-Jews,” said former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger about the White House.

But if that’s the case, we must ask, Who won? The answer is that Bannon is out, and whatever else he stood for, Bannon represented the antiwar strain in U.S. nationalist thinking. Note Bannon’s angry reference to neoconservative influence, also reported by Wolff. Bannon tells Ailes that it’s hard to find Republican advisers who are not pro-war:

“When you take out all the Never Trump guys who signed all those letters and all the neocons who got us in all these wars … it’s not a deep bench.”

This is the great divide in U.S. foreign policy. Not over Russia; but over the extent of Israel’s influence. Realists and leftists are opposed to the Israel lobby. And realists are excommunicated by the Republicans, leftists by the Democrats.

fly bird (26)
Friday January 5, 2018, 4:10 pm
"Divide and rule" ...

and - "Follow the money"!!!!!
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